DIY Distasters and Potpourri Ornaments

By Alysa Seeland

Many of you who know me personally know that I often attempt impulsive DIY projects that end in disaster. I'm not talking a less than perfect noodle-necklace, I'm talking my microwave is on fire, I'm covered in petroleum jelly and the cat is having a blast making footprints in the winter-wonderland I've just made by dropping the bag of flour on the floor.

Now it's not that I'm not creative, in fact that's the problem. My mind starts racing and I go into hyperdrive or get tunnel vision and then I take on projects that sometimes defy the laws of physics. Let's just say that by the end of most attempted DIY nights I've often gone to bed feeling like a failure.

For example, two months ago I was eating the world's most amazing batch of grapes, and in fear of the winter day in which they'd no longer be available I decided, logically, that I should peel each grape individually, cook them in a little bit of sugar for three hours (until tender) and then can them to have again this winter!

It would have worked out splendidly except that I started this process at 10pm when the thought occurred to me and so by the time the grapes finished their slow boil (around 1 am) I was a tad sleepy and added four times the amount of gelatin resulting in a brick of purple and no more delicious grapes. A lose/lose situation.

I've been a bit scared to try DIY projects since then UNTIL the hubs and I set up our Christmas tree. As this is only our second Christmas together the tree was looking a bit bare. Hubs suggested a trip to Pier One and I gladly agreed.

Once we got there we decided that it was best that we didn't spend our emergency fund on Christmas decor. So we made our exit and the old noggin' started turning. We stopped into Michaels (a dangerous place for DIY wanabes like me) and I saw them: clear glass bulbs.

You'll notice one's missing. You'll find out more later.

When I saw them I started thinking what I could stuff into them and then I remembered the masses of potpourri I got at the end of Christmas sales last year. So I went home and got my stuff on, sadly sacrificing one of the bulbs to too much pressure, but soon I had five beautiful decorations for (get this) nine dollars total, which comes out to $1.80/bulb if you exclude the sacrificial lamb.

If you've ever doubted your DIY abilities let me assure you YOU CAN DO THIS! Here's what you need:

  • An old box of potpourri (hopefully free but if you must buy it check the dollar store $0 - $5)
  • Six glass orbs ($3.99 at my craft store)
  • A fearless thumb (for pushing, twisting and guiding chucky pieces inward and onward!)

The only thing not pictured above are the red ribbons I added once the tops were securely on, totally optional!

What DIY projects have you done that were successful?